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Stories in Sound

Notes from a Northern Irish Childhood

Duration: 30 minutes

First broadcast: on BBC Radio UlsterLatest broadcast: on BBC Radio Ulster

Available for over a year

Amidst the violence and bloody conflict of the early 1970s, youth orchestras sprang up across Northern Ireland. Aged seven, Marie-Louise Muir took a bus to orchestra practice every Saturday morning, carrying her cello across a landscape marred by bomb blasts, riots and civil unrest. While the violence raged, she met children from other religious backgrounds for the first time.

She formed friendships and a love of music that would endure long after the sound of gunfire had faded. But life moved on for Marie Louise. Her cello was set aside in her attic where it languished for 25 years. Even her own children have never heard her play. Now Marie-Louise dusts down her cello and allows it to reverberate with memories of a troubled but life-changing period. For Marie-Louise Muir, this is a personal and emotionally charged journey, taking her back to a time when her cello, the orchestra and music provided protection, friendship and hope. Show less

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